By Simon & Janet Wright
The Historic Sports Car Club got there 2012 season off to a flying start at Donington Park over the weekend of the 17th-18th of March with a two day meeting of 13 races. Most categories were covered, with a particularly good entry from the Historic Touring Cars, allowing two races to be run, split at 1600cc.
The event was run as a two day meeting, with different classes running each day. Saturday started with the 70s Roadsports and a win for Paul Conway driving a Morgan Plus 8 who had a race long battle with the TVR 3000M of Julian Barter, who had lead the first part of the race. After 22 laps, the pair finished only 0.404 seconds apart. Both won their respective classes. There was an interesting Maserati Bora driven by Graham Burgess which finished 10th.
Second race was for Historic Formula Ford, and a win for Callum Grant in a Merlyn Mk20a after a big battle with David Wild in a Lola T200. Next up were the front engined Formula Junior single seaters. This class of racing has big enough fields that the races can be split between the early front engined cars and the later rear engined cars. The front engined race was dominated by Stuart Roach in an Alexis Mk2 in a close fought win from Jack Woodhouse in an Elva 100. The rear engined race, which was run later in the day, was won by David Methley in a lovely Brabham BT6 from Pete Morton driving a Lightning Envoyette.
Between the two Formula Junior races, the Historic Road Sports had entertained the crowd. Paul Tooms had a relatively easy win in his Lotus Elan from the Elan S1 of Peter Shaw. The Classic Racing Cars saw an interesting mix of single seaters on track. Ian Jones proved to be the class of the field, taking victory at the wheel of a Lotus 59, from the similar car of Antony Ross in second.
Final race on Saturday saw a small grid of 500cc F3 cars swarm all over the circuit. The two stroke engines give a distinctive sound as they scream around the circuit. Steve Jones in a Cooper MkX won the wet race from Pole position from Jb Jones in a Cousy No. 2. An interesting entry was the Revis 500 of R Bishop-Miller. Although not classified as a finisher, the car stood out in the race as the only entry with a streamlined wide nose cone which enclosed the front wheels.
Sunday started wet which allowed Marc Earnshaw to grab pole position for the Historic Touring Cars up to 1600cc race in his Austin Mini Cooper S from another Mini Cooper S of champion Roger Godfrey. In the dry race it didn’t take long for Mark Jones to get the lead on the first lap and lead all the way to the chequered flag in his Ford Lotus Cortina. Roger Godfrey did his best to hang on and showed why he is a Champion to finish 2nd in the smaller engined Mini Cooper S. Simon Benoy had a problem at the chicane on the second lap and rolled his Hillman Imp on to its side in the gravel trap. He got out after the marshals pushed the car back on to its wheels, but the car was stuck in the gravel trap until the end of the race.
The Guards Trophy race was split into two separate 40 minute races for Sports Racing Cars and GT’s. The Sports Racing cars raced first with a win for the Ginetta G16 of Graeme Dodd from the Chevron B8 of Steve Hodges which after 40 minutes of racing were only separated by 0.369 of a second.
Next up was the Classic Formula 3 which had a Derek Bell Trophy race included. This had allowed a couple of interesting cars to be entered. Jeremy Smith had practiced in the wet in his 6 wheeled March Formula 1 car but the transmission seized and it was unable to race. Greg Thornton had his Formula 5000 Surtees TS11 back from the Tasman Revival series in New Zealand and was on the second row of the grid after wet practice. Pole position went to Jamie Brashaw in his orange March 793. In the dry race Thornton grabbed the lead in his powerful Surtees and lead for 12 of the 17 laps before retiring with mechanical problems. This left the win to Jamie Brashaw in what was now effectively a Classic F3 race. His March 793 had led the class from the start and was 2.575seconds ahead of David Shaw at the finish in his Ralt RT1.
The Historic Touring cars over 1600cc race was next on the bill and the field was mainly Ford American muscle cars. Leo Voyazides in his 4,7 litre Ford Falcon lead from start to finish. Dan Cox showed that you didn’t need big Ford engines to do well though, finishing second in the much smaller 1920cc engined Ford Lotus Cortina to take a class win.
Leo Voyazides didn’t have time to collect his trophy for winning the Touring Car race as he had to rush to get into his AC Cobra for the Guards GT race where he was second fastest to the TVR Griffith of Mike Whitaker. But in the race, the Lotus Elan of Nick Fleming lead pretty much from start to finish, winning by over 16 seconds from Whitaker’s TVR.
Final race of the meeting was for Historic Formula Ford 2000 single seaters. James Murray took Pole in his Reynard SF77 but it was Russell Love in a Reynard SF79 take initially took the lead and eventual victory from David Wild in another Reynard SF79 to round off a great start to the season.